Gary Brandner is the prolific writer of at least 30 published books, over 250 short stories, and several screenplays. His best known novel, The Howling, published in 1977, established him as a horror writer of exceptional merit. In 1980 it was made into a movie, a favorite among the genre’s fans. His novel inspired seven “Howling”
film sequels. Another novel, Cameron’s Closet, was also made into an award winning feature film of the same name. His book, Walkers, served as the basis for the NBC miniseries In the Dead of Night, first aired in 1989 and again in 1992. When Brandner graduated from the University of Washington, in 1955 with a B.A. in journalism, and a devotion to the Huskies, he had ambitions of becoming a sports writer. Instead, he wrote scripts for live TV and comedy for nightclub acts in Portland, Oregon. Having been encouraged by a high school English teacher, Gary decided to write fiction. He sold his first story, A Lesson in Larceny, to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in 1969. Often a contributor to other periodicals, like Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Brandner created several detectives, who were either hard-boiled, soft-boiled, police or adventure-seeking. His favorite was the private eye, Stonebreaker.
For over 50 years Gary Brandner maintained a regimented work routine, which he abbreviated, sometimes drastically, during football season. He was a member on several literary and film panels, taught writing classes and even tried his hand at acting in a video as a suicidal clown in the cult classic Satan’s Storybook.
In writing bios about himself, Brandner loved to include mention of his shark fighting in the Great Coral Reef and how he helped to put out oil fires in the Middle East. No one ever called him on it.